Makoto and her best friends Chiaki and Kousuke have an inseparable and touching bond that has always kept them together, but what Makoto fails to notice is the things they have sacrificed to ensure that they always stay together and that she never feels alone. Both are great looking guys and receive a fair amount of attention from girls, but for some reason - perhaps due to her nativity - she never seems to realise why both turn each girl away. She fails to notice that things surely can't be this way forever. People change, move on and grow.
The opportunity to do so basically stumbles face forward in front of her in the shape of an object. Within it, is the ability to time travel. What starts off as fun soon completely spirals out of control as she begins to abuse its power. As she does so more and more, more mistakes are made, the more reckless and daring she is and the worse the regrets will be. Makoto is not an easy protagonist to like for the majority of the anime. She is very selfish, and naive during the worse of times as well as manipulating. But it's through time travelling that she learns the repercussions of her recklessness the hard way. You see her open her eyes and even start to notice the smaller things - like the kind of attention her two friends bring. She matures and there's a lot of character growth that goes into it - which was probably one of the most redeeming qualities of her character arc.
What caught me by surprise was the change of tone really. At the beginning we are taken through their daily life. The structure of their friendship, school, home life and so on. But as her life spirals out of control and the two people she holds close are caught in the middle of it, things take a much more heavier turn. And all at once, I was given moment after moment which gave one heavy blow after the other. You'll be pleased to know that it get's better as you watch on. Things get a whole lot more intense and Makoto really - for the first time it would seem - has the chance to reflect and try and figure out where it all went wrong. This sense of self discovery brought on specific moments which had me chocking up a little.
THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME may be a little slow at the start, which I know has been quite jarring for a few people who I recommended it to, but it really isn't as bad as it sounds. And personally it never bothered me. There is also the fact that I am guessing that Chiake is the more popular choice out of the two mates. And who can blame them? He was mine too, after all. And it is so easy to prefer him over Kousuke because Chiake is such a louder character in comparison (metaphorically.) He is charming, endearing, ridiculously cool and a bit of a bad boy (just how some girls love 'em) whilst Kousuke is much more relaxed, quiet and observant. And neither traits do him any favours in this situation, sadly. And although Chiake was definitely the one I preferred, there was a side of me (a small side) that wanted Kousuke to stand up and make more of an effort! I was practically waiting for him to take charge and be a bit stronger but he was just... him I guess.
The thing is that I can see it not being for everyone. But overall, with a great cast of characters, interesting premise , gorgeous animation, a steady pace and enough emotional and intense moments to keep readers satisfied, I genuinely hope that more do. It is definitely one worth giving a go.